Friday, March 21, 2008

Rarin' to go...

Finally, it's here! We're going to New Orleans! I'll write more over the weekend if I get a chance, but in the meantime, you can check our trip blog at

I'll try to update every day, and you can see a picture of our oh-so-handsome/gorgeous team.


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Like a Comet Pulled From Orbit, as it Passes the Sun...

Girl-friendship is a funny thing.*** I've had some amazing girlfriends in my life, despite my propensity for being closer to guys, being kinda tough to get to know, and not understanding the whole girl-talk thing in general.

When thrust into a vaguely acquainted-with or unknown set of girls, I feel like a lone dandelion bravely sprouting up through the cracked floor of a garden shop - I raise my little head and all I see is the weed-eaters, poisons, and lawnmowers that spell my early demise. Of course, I fail to notice the fertilizers and plant food, but my pessimism is a post for another day. The long and short of it is, I get scared.

However, despite being crazy, girls are amazing.** I have known some of the more fantastic ones in my extensive (ha) 24 years, and I'm blessed to count a few as the sisters I never knew I always wanted. I've been told three times in the last week by three different people that they've seen a change in me for the better. There's no greater compliment than that - and I'm pretty sure I owe most of it to my girls. (And Jesus, of course. Jesus in my girls, probably.)

This whole post was inspired by the news I got this morning that Julie, my very own roommate* of House 9 fame, is coming out to the Golden State to visit this summer. I CANNOT WAIT. I love showing off the things I love, and I love Julie, and having so many things I love in one place might just make my heart explode.

Anyway, I was sitting here, thinking about these great girls I've been close to for a long time and the ones who are just now becoming precious parts of my life. Thank you.
Thanks for coming into my dorm room at 1 am and convincing me that studying was lame, for forcing me to expand my movie horizons, for making me laugh more than anyone.
Thanks for encouraging me to write it down, no matter how foolish.
Thanks for endless hours tanning by the pool, sipping Diet Coke and sharing secrets.
Thanks for being outdoorsy and fun and sisterly.
Thanks for the long nights in the Optimist office, and your patience with my screwy InDesign lines.
Thanks for your fashion sense.
Thanks for baking cookies at midnight.
Thanks for carrying the paper with my anti-library-Starbucks column in it to the library Starbucks, and waving it nonchalantly under the barista's nose.
Thanks for the great pictures and deep understanding.
Thanks for the creative juices.
Thanks for Starbucks dances, holiday meals and Dallas shopping sprees.
Thanks for helping me navigate the deadly waters of relationships.
Thanks for trips to CostCo, being 1/2 of the Hot Ds, and making out with Park Newport.
Thanks for helping me find my Muse, for sharing music, for encouraging me, for seeing the beauty of shows like Smallville and Lois and Clark.
Thanks for defending me, supporting me and pulling me out of my shell.
Thanks for joining me in my OC/Ryan Atwood phase.
Thanks for Golden Spoon dates.
Thanks for "getting it".
Thanks for listening.

*Val, Kish and Julie will always be "roommate", no matter where we go. I think each of us have confused someone with this unconventional approach to nick names...
**I've not always thought so. But they are. Boys, you better be good to these girls!
***One last funny thing about girl-friendship. If I didn't get your specific memory or link on this list, please don't be hurt, offended or think I don't love you. I do. I promise I do. (Unless this is your first time here and I don't know you. That would be weird.) This was an off-the-top-of-my-head shout-out to my leading ladies and those who've recently been granted a slot in Dani's House of Jumbled Recollections. Enter at your own risk; if you're not here, chances are all you've missed out on is my driving your car like a truck, blathering on about some ridiculous problem, or freaking out because someone's nice to me. It's happened.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Therapy, Part Deux

So I've been thinking about what's therapeutic in my life, and have come up with a list of some things that make me sunshiney when I'm a tad blue. (Not really blue, blue like bummed. You probably knew that, but it is Friday, so I thought I'd clear it up, just to be sure.)

  • Writing, of course
  • Playing with Photoshop, drawing, being creative
  • Curling up on the couch with some coffee if it's cold and Diet Coke if it's warm, and a good book
  • Journaling
  • Smallville (I know, I know. It's cheesy and predictable and filled with horrible lines and unrequited high school love. But it has some golden moments, I have some great memories associated with watching the first couple of seasons, and I do love the Man of Steel.)
  • Driving PCH (Preferably without traffic... hint, hint, road construction)
  • A good talk with a good girlfriend, my mom or Adam
  • Ice cream. Always.
  • Flowers. Also always.
  • Cleaning the house. (I think this proves I have a dormant housewife inside somewhere - remember the mom on The Emperor's New Groove? "I need to clean something!")
  • Tanning. Whether it's laying on the beach, at the pool, or even fake baking, acquiring skin cancer and great legs at the same time is AWESOME.
  • Showers. I love showers. I think it kinda comes hand-in-hand with my soap/shampoo/smelly things fetish.
  • So, I'll admit it. Trying new (expensive and smelly) soap/shampoo makes me happy.
  • Hot tubs. I don't get to do this often enough. But when I do....
  • Swimming in ocean/kayaking/being outside is great. I don't know if it should technically be listed as therapy, since I don't exactly finish a hard day at work and think, "I'm gonna go take a dip!" But maybe I should start. Anyway, it's all awesome and should be included in every list.
  • Cooking for someone who appreciates it. (Adam)
  • Shopping. I know! I'm such a girl. I... like to shop. I'm trying to come up with excuses, but I can't. I know it's pathetic and OC-ish of me. I'm sorry. But I do like it.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


One of my friends has recently started reading my blog - or at least has just let me know that he is...

At any rate, he made the comment to me that he liked reading it to "get inside your head... I can tell it's really good/therapeutic for you to write that stuff." Now, this made me a little squeamish, as I've written about what makes me sneeze or cry, compulsively buying home supplies, blueberry muffin weather, and most recently, making out with an apartment complex, none of which cater to the higher kinds of tastes that I should be aiming to satisfy.

I imagine Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Charlotte Bronte, Victor Hugo, C.S. Lewis, George MacDonald and countless other of my personal influencers and heroes sitting down at the old-fashioned blog of their day and spewing out wise sayings, witty, hilarious thoughts and jaw-dropping insights with a flick of their fountain pen. Was writing therapeutic for them?

I hate to admit it, but these silly ramblings are good for me. Blogging or writing something, no matter how dumb, is often the highlight of my day, and I wonder where this compulsion comes from.

I remember writing a "book" as a child about a cat. I think her name was Spotty, after the very creatively-titled white-and-orange-spotted feline who wandered into our lives just long enough to have kittens and wander out again. I don't remember anything about it, other than I was very proud of my illustration abilities and my title, which was... ...wait for it: "Cat Tails". I know. I kill me.

Anyway, my first attempt never got picked up by a publisher, Oprah never needed this child prodigy on her show, and I've sunk into a blissful oblivion, writing away whenever I feel the need and enjoying the relatively calm buzz of seeing your work online.

As much as I dream of being the next Bronte or Austen, these ramblings are OK with me for now. I hope that my heroes forgive me a little public therapy... ...and that you will too. Thanks again for listening.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There's a Spring in My Step

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to share with you all the glad tidings that Lady Spring has finally arrived. I got such a kick out of my my sister-in-law's Spring-y observation of Portland versus our colder native habitat, that I simply must share: "I'm enjoying getting to "know" Portland. I learned there IS such a thing a Spring!! I always wondered why Easter was marked by a white bunny hopping around in green grass with a basket of yellow flowers, instead of grunge-haired cow stuck mid-belly in brown snowbank. Or... maybe it's just a matter of marketing."

Hee. Love it. While the beauty of mountain-range wildflowers is made all the sweeter by the memory of last month's "grunge-haired cows" - it is an incredible phenomenon to this country girl to see flowers popping out of perfectly groomed medians and hillsides bursting into bloom, accompanied by 70-degree temperatures and the insatiable desire to cook my skin at the beach. (Unfortunately, the water temperature hasn't quite caught up with the sunshine - it's still a brisk 58 degrees. I say, being the tough girl that I am, that if any part of me is blue, or if I wish I could wear two wet suits, or if after five minutes in the water I start hallucinating about being a survivor of the Titanic, it's too soon to get in. It's too soon.)

This weekend, Hot Donna and I had our traditional Hot D Summertime Activity: Making Out with Park Newport.* It was beyond amazing, although I did realize that the rainy weather diet of Oreos and Cheeseburgers doesn't work as well in a bikini. Spring Resolution now formed!

Also this weekend, Hot Adam** and I went hiking of off Highway 74 in the Ortegas. Whenever I get pictures off the camera, maybe I'll post a couple. It was gorgeous and freeing and exactly where one should be in the Springtime with someone you love.

So that's the moral of this story. Even though Springing Forward leaves an hour of sleep to be desired, Spring is a fantastic season and you should go out and enjoy it.

*Park Newport is the incredibly posh apartment complex where D lives - it's basically like living at the Hilton, with less luggage-hauling through gigantic lobbies. Making out is not really making out - it's laying out and getting tan - but making out is funnier.
**Not normally what I call BF (although it is apt) but like the above explanation, this too is funnier. I'm all about funny today. It's Tuesday and you still haven't given me any new blog ideas. So there.

Friday, March 7, 2008

And Though You Protest Your Disinterest, I Know Clandestinely...

Why do we still long to be popular? Why do we want so badly to be liked?

I was asking myself that I wandered the floor of a trade show today, feeling distinctly out-of-place and far from accepted. I stood in a group of my colleagues, wondering why suddenly my hair felt really big, my shirt (unflattering as it is, thanks, man-clothes,) felt even more boxy, and I wondered if I looked as inept as I felt. I'm here to cover the show - covering being the journalistic term used for fast writing and desperate quote-seeking. As Ike Graham said in Runaway Bride: "Journalism is literature in a hurry," and nowhere is that more true than when covering a trade show for an online publication.

When I step back and look at the situation, I see my insecurity for what it is - a foolish indulgence of my own fears. I know, in my head, that I'm a competent writer and editor, that I can hold my own in this industry and that I don't really care about what people think. I know that I have good friends, a great family, a wonderful boyfriend and a blessed life.

So someone please explain to me why the coldness of my colleagues leaves such a mark on my spirits. Why can't I live in what I know versus how I feel?

We're sharing the Convention Center with a Cheer/Dance competition this weekend, and walking past these societal microcosms reminds me of how I felt as a gangly teenager (or 24-year-old... I mean, what? I'm totally secure.) watching the pretty, confident girls strut their stuff and giggle their way into popularity with a toss of their impeccable hair.

I feel the same ache when my colleagues leave me behind as I did on the playground as a child. Don't we outgrow this stuff? Aren't I mature enough to not compare myself to "perfect" bodies and clusters of friends?

Here's what I know - I am a daughter of the King. I am loved and created uniquely for a divine purpose that I am still discovering. Now I just have to walk out and live in that truth... simple, right?

PS - Sorry that this turned into a giant public therapy session - it probably wasn't the best idea to start writing "out loud", but it's done now. Thanks for "listening".

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Word Answer Girl

One of my friends recently discovered that I like words and stuff, (what? you don't read the AP Stylebook for fun?) and decided to ask me some English language questions, despite the fact that I occasionally say things like: "For reals."

Here is the transcription of our witty email banter - a testament to the joys of desk jobs and the weirdness of English in general. Enjoy:


On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 7:53 AM, Phil Casalegno wrote:

I have a question I have been meaning to ask you for a while and keep forgetting. Why is it that when authors write the past tense of words like leap they use leaped? Isn't 'lept' the proper past tense? Creap should be crept not creaped right, etc....
Random wonderings of Phil


On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 1:07 PM, Dani Linthicum wrote:

Dear Random Wonderings,

You pose an excellent question. To be quite honest, I had not thought a great deal about the leapt/leaped phenomenon until you brought it to my attention... which makes me wonder what exactly you're trying to write. Is it for your Website bio? "Also, I've leapt/leaped great distances with little to no sweat coming from my super-manly pores."
Anyways. I digress.
I think "leapt" is more common in the UK, while "leaped" is the US spelling, cuz we talk good ovah heah. It is pronounced the same though.
(Also, you are right, that "creep" would be "crept", unless you were saying "That guy who doesn't sweat creeped me out!" in which case "crept" wouldn't work. Oh slang. You're so fun.)
That's my best shot.

~Word Answer Girl


On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 2:02 PM, Phil Casalegno wrote:

Word Answer Girl,
What you wrote makes alot of sense, but it isn't what I have seen. The most common example I have seen has been the word sneak. Everytime I see this past tense it is written sneaked. "John sneaked down the hall" I have seen this in both UK and american writers. The creaped example was from a UK writer. Shouldn't sneaked be snuck? I admit that snuck is kind of an ugly-looking word, but we don't say digged unless we are from the south.
Random Wonderings

On Mon, Mar 3, 2008 at 4:32 PM, Dani Linthicum wrote:

Random Wonderings,

I can see that you are a true student of language. I applaud you. However, I have researched sundry and dusty tomes to find the answer you seek (as well as my personal vault of vast wordy knowledge), and I............ have no idea. However, I completely agree with you that sneaked should be snuck, and I'll thank you not to say mean things about my man even if he is from the South. However, according to the Dictionary, both sneaked and snuck are right, one is just ugly and the other sounds bad. I guess we can't have it all.

~Word Answer Girl

Monday, March 3, 2008

Puke of the Brain

Today is the sun is shining. Today I'm insanely busy. Today... is Puke of the Brain Monday! (See? This is what you get for not offering a creative theme. Now you have to sit and read my random thoughts - just know that this is all your own fault for not helping a sister out. )


It's very windy today, kinda like Santa Ana Winds, but chillier. As I was walking up to work this morning, a gardener was using a leaf-blower on the sidewalk. A LEAF-BLOWER. As I'm fighting my way up the walk and my hair sticks out straight behind me and the dust of a thousand empty lots wiggle into my eyes, this guy was futilely blowing specks of dead plant a few feet before they blew back in the gale-force gusts. I felt like asking him if he has a hard time getting up in the morning.

This weekend, a group of about 75 20-somethings went to Mammoth Mountain and tore it up. We ate lots of Pita Pit pitas, had a gi-normous guys against girls snowball fight, played Snow-lympics, sledded, boarded, skiied, played Mafia, board games, charades, answered silly questions and stayed up way too late. One of the funniest moments was playing Charades (guys against girls, of course,) and hearing the guys yelling out answers: "Huuuuuh! Gruummphhh hubbbabab bubbbba humph" and then the girls, about three octaves higher: "Eeeeeeee! Aiyyyyie yiyiyiyiyiiiiiiiiiiaaaaaa!" (Of course, they were saying real words, not war cries, but that was the only way I could convey the difference in tone. Anyways, 75 people in one itty-bitty Condo living room yelling answers gets intense. And guys and girls talk differently. That's pretty much my point.)

One part that was not so fun was when I took an ice chunk to the throat in our oh-so-intense snowball battle. The Trache doesn't respond well to hard cold objects thrown at blazing fast speed. But it was worth the pain for the love of war. The boys paid dearly for their crimes, and more than one tackling occurred.

Speaking of which, remember when we were little, and boys would pull our hair and throw Four-Square balls at us to get our attention? When you're outside playing in the snow, the old rules of playground flirting apply - and still work, oddly enough. Kirsten and I both got body-slammed by our chosen fellas, and weren't offended in the least. Quite the opposite, actually, although we got some snow down their necks to show our "disapproval".

I do not like gas station coffee. Yuck. However, on a cold night, when Mafia is calling and sleep is not going to be found for several hours and Starbucks is closed, it can be quite good. Although I admit that I averted my eyes from the last watery drizzle coming out of the cappuccino machine - lest I be unable to stomach my $1.19 of gas station goodness.

Well, my faithful readers, more brain-puke is coming, and I know you're dying to hear it. However, it's after 5 pm, I've already stayed over an hour late at work, and there are things to done, fields to plow, stories to prep and freelancers to harangue. Back to work, me hearties.